Major European nations suspend use of AstraZeneca vaccine

by Jeremy

“Today’s decision is a purely precautionary measure,” Jens Spahn said.

French President Emmanuel Macron said his country would likewise suspend shots at least until Tuesday afternoon when the European Union’s drug regulatory agency will weigh in on the vaccine. He told France hopes to resume using the formula soon.

Italy’s medicines regulator also announced a precautionary, temporary ban.

AstraZeneca said on its website that there had been 37 reports of blood clots out of more than 17 million people vaccinated in the 27-country European Union and Britain. The drugmaker said there is no evidence the vaccine carries an increased risk of clots. It said the incidence of clots is much lower than expected to occur naturally in a general population of this size and is similar to that of other licensed COVID-19 vaccines.

The European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organization have also said that the data does not suggest the vaccine caused the clots and that people should be immunized.

Blood clots can travel through the body and cause heart attacks, strokes, and deadly blockages in the lungs. AstraZeneca reported 15 cases of deep vein thrombosis, or a type of clot that often develops in the legs, and 22 instances of pulmonary embolisms or lumps in the lungs.

Last week, Denmark became the first country to halt the AstraZeneca vaccine in recent days to investigate temporarily. It said one person developed clots and died ten days after receiving at least one dose. The other countries include Ireland, Thailand, the Netherlands, Norway, Iceland, Congo, and Bulgaria.

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